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UK: Published PFHxS ban under UK POPs regulation

NOVEMBER 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

The United Kingdom (UK) published the ban on perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)1, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds under the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023, which entered into force on 16 November 2023.

This legislation amends Annex 1, Part A of retained Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 (EU POPs). The substances listed in Annex 1, Part A are prohibited from manufacturing, placing on the market and uses. PFHxS was identified as a POP chemical in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention in June 2022. As the UK is a member of the Convention, it is obliged to adopt this update. Table A lists the details of the PFHxS ban under Annex I of the UK POPs Regulation.

PFHxS belongs to the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which may be used in various applications including water, oil-repellent treatment, carpets, clothing, firefighting foam, etc. In addition to PFHxS, PFOA and PFOS are currently prohibited in the UK market. However, the UK has not adopted the restriction of C9-C14 PFCAs to their legislative framework. Please see Table B for the PFAS prohibited or restricted in the EU and the UK.  

Table A: PFHxS ban under UK POPs Regulation Annex I

Substances

Details of the updates

Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds

Limits in substances, mixtures and articles
PFHxS or any of its salts: ≤ 25 ppb (0.025 mg/kg) (sum);
PFHxS-related compounds: ≤ 1 mg/kg (sum);

Exemption: 
PFHxS in firefighting foam mixtures that are to be used or are used in the production of other firefighting foam mixtures: 
≤ 0.1 mg/kg (sum)

 

Table B: Prohibited or restricted PFAS in the EU and the UK

PFAS family

Abbreviation

EU

UK

Perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and PFOA-related compounds (PFOA)

PFOA

Yes

Yes

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and its derivatives (PFOS)

PFOS

Yes

Yes

Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds (PFHxS)

PFHxS

Yes

Yes

C9-C14 perfluorocarboxylic acids, their salts and related substances

C9-C14 PFCAs

Yes

No

 

[1] POPs (persistent organic pollutants) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2023


 

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